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Old 05-07-2007, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Valencia, Spain
954 posts, read 55,498 times
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Default Mithraism and Christianity.

How do Christians deal with the similarities between Mithras and JC?

Mithraism was the main religion before Christianity came from about 800BCE to 300CE and Mithras was worshipped just about everywhere, from Syria to the UK.

Mithras was worshipped as a Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, and the Messiah. Mithraism was the most popular of religions in the Roman Empire, particularly among its soldiers and civil servants. Mithras was believed to have been born of a virgin. Like JC, their births were celebrated yearly on DEC-25. Mithra was also visited by shepherds and by Magi. He traveled through the countryside, taught, and performed miracles with his 12 disciples. He cast out devils, returned sight to the blind, healed the lame, etc. Symbols associated with Mithra were a Lion and a Lamb. He held a last supper, was killed, buried in a rock tomb. He rose again after three days later, at the time of the spring equinox, circa MAR-21. He later ascended into heaven. Mithraism celebrated the anniversary of his resurrection, similar to the Christian Easter. They held services on Sunday. Rituals included a Eucharist and six other sacraments that corresponded to the rituals of the Catholic church. Some individuals who are skeptical about stories of JC' life suspect that Christianity may have appropriated many details of Mithraism in order to make their religion more acceptable to Pagans. St. Augustine even stated that the priests of Mithra worshipped the same God as he did.

Many of the stories found in the bible can be found in the ancient religious tablets of civilisations the predated Christianity by thousands of years.
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Old 05-07-2007, 03:43 AM
 
Location: The Silver State (from the UK)
3,602 posts, read 4,111,930 times
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the Christmas tree also has its origins in Mithraism. In Northern Europe, they used to take trees inside the house in order to keep hope that crops would return after the harsh winters.

December 25th was also the day that the Sun passed from the northern to the southern hemisphere, and was celebrated accordingly. This date was hijacked by the Roman Emporer when he declared ALL religions other that Christianity illegal
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Valencia, Spain
954 posts, read 55,498 times
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If anyone is interested in finding out more about Mithraism, this a good site.

http://www.meta-religion.com/World_R...stianity_i.htm



MITHRAISM

Introduction


For over three hundred years the rulers of the Roman Empire worshipped the god Mithras. Known throughout Europe and Asia by the names Mithra, Mitra, Meitros, Mihr, Mehr, and Meher, the veneration of this god began around 2600 years ago in Persia, where it was soon imbedded with Babylonian doctrines. The faith spread east through India to China, and reached west throughout the entire length of the Roman frontier; from Scotland to the Sahara Desert, and from Spain to the Black Sea. Sites of Mithraic worship have been found in Britain, Italy, Romania, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Persia, Armenia, Syria, Israel, and North Africa. In Rome, more than a hundred inscriptions dedicated to Mithra have been found, in addition to 75 sculpture fragments, and a series of Mithraic temples situated in all parts of the city. One of the largest Mithraic temples built in Italy now lies under the present site of the Church of St. Clemente, near the Colosseum in Rome. The widespread popularity and appeal of Mithraism as the final and most refined form of pre-Christian paganism was discussed by the Greek historian Herodotus, the Greek biographer Plutarch, the neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry, the Gnostic heretic Origen, and St. Jerome the church Father. Mithraism was quite often noted by many historians for its many astonishing similarities to Christianity. The faithful referred to Mithra as "the Light of the World", symbol of truth, justice, and loyalty. He was mediator between heaven and earth and was a member of a Holy Trinity. According to Persian mythology, Mithras was born of a virgin given the title 'Mother of God'. The god remained celibate throughout his life, and valued self-control, renunciation and resistance to sensuality among his worshippers. Mithras represented a system of ethics in which brotherhood was encouraged in order to unify against the forces of evil. The worshippers of Mithras held strong beliefs in a celestial heaven and an infernal hell. They believed that the benevolent powers of the god would sympathize with their suffering and grant them the final justice of immortality and eternal salvation in the world to come. They looked forward to a final day of Judgment in which the dead would resurrect, and to a final conflict that would destroy the existing order of all things to bring about the triumph of light over darkness.

Purification through a ritualistic baptism was required of the faithful, who also took part in a ceremony in which they drank wine and ate bread to symbolize the body and blood of the god. Sundays were held sacred, and the birth of the god was celebrated annually on December the 25th. After the earthly mission of this god had been accomplished, he took part in a Last Supper with his companions before ascending to heaven, to forever protect the faithful from above.

However, it would be a vast oversimplification to suggest that Mithraism was the single forerunner of early Christianity. Aside from Christ and Mithras, there were plenty of other deities (such as Osiris, Tammuz, Adonis, Balder, Attis, and Dionysus) said to have died and resurrected. Many classical heroic figures, such as Hercules, Perseus, and Theseus, were said to have been born through the union of a virgin mother and divine father. Virtually every pagan religious practice and festivity that couldn't be suppressed or driven underground was eventually incorporated into the rites of Christianity as it spread across Europe and throughout the world.
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Old 05-07-2007, 05:40 AM
 
7,768 posts, read 9,459,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pladecalvo View Post
If anyone is interested in finding out more about Mithraism, this a good site.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about The Truth, this is a good site.

http://www.carm.org/evidence/mithra.htm

This is a very tired theme, plad. It's been done before and it'll be done again.

Thanks for bringing up the cyclical argument of Mithraism.

An excerpt:
If the argument that pagan mythologies predated Christian teachings and therefore Christianity borrowed from them is true, then it must also be truth that the pagan religions borrowed from the Jewish religion because it is older than they are! Given that all of the Christian themes are found in the Old Testament and the Old Testament was begun around 2000 B.C. and completed around 400 B.C., we can then conclude that these pagan religions actually borrowed from Jewish ideas found in the Old Testament. Think about it, the idea of a blood sacrifice and a covering for sin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis when God covered Adam and Eve with animals skins and prophesied the coming of the Messiah.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:01 AM
 
646 posts, read 1,096,972 times
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Alpha,

The question is a valid one. How to explain the similarities, which strongly imply that christianity is a derivative of mithraism to some extent.

You are on record as being afraid to debate the validity of christianity. Fair enough, nobody is forcing you to do so. But to condemn another poster for asking an intriquing question is simply not necessary.

After all, this is a forum on religion in general, not christian preaching.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:11 AM
 
7,768 posts, read 9,459,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stretch00 View Post
Alpha,

The question is a valid one. How to explain the similarities, which strongly imply that christianity is a derivative of mithraism to some extent.

You are on record as being afraid to debate the validity of christianity. Fair enough, nobody is forcing you to do so. But to condemn another poster for asking an intriquing question is simply not necessary.

After all, this is a forum on religion in general, not christian preaching.
Afraid to debate?? I'm a bit confused but...I don't see how you can look at the OPs threads and subsequent posts and come to the conclusion that he is trying to do anything but vilifile, ridicule, and mostly make a mockery of Chrisitianity, Christians, and Christ.

It's OK to deny that. It concerns me that you'd deny or....maybe more so if you can't see it....

But pladecalvo's posts speak for themselves.

But don't put me 'on record' as afraid to debate, that's just not true.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Valencia, Spain
954 posts, read 55,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpha8207 View Post
If anyone is interested in finding out more about The Truth, this is a good site.

http://www.carm.org/evidence/mithra.htm

This is a very tired theme, plad. It's been done before and it'll be done again.

Thanks for bringing up the cyclical argument of Mithraism.

An excerpt:
If the argument that pagan mythologies predated Christian teachings and therefore Christianity borrowed from them is true, then it must also be truth that the pagan religions borrowed from the Jewish religion because it is older than they are! Given that all of the Christian themes are found in the Old Testament and the Old Testament was begun around 2000 B.C. and completed around 400 B.C., we can then conclude that these pagan religions actually borrowed from Jewish ideas found in the Old Testament. Think about it, the idea of a blood sacrifice and a covering for sin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis when God covered Adam and Eve with animals skins and prophesied the coming of the Messiah.
As I said, Sumarian legends tell exactly the same stories that can be found in the bible. Your statement that the Jewish religion came before all pagan religions is not true. If you are saying that the Old Testament stories are older, at 2000BCE, than the same stories that are found in Sumarian legend you are mistaken. The Sumarian Civilisation was established in 5000BCE. Their recorded history started in 4000BCE.The Sumerian myth of Ziusudra tells how the god Enki warns Ziusudra, king of Shuruppak, of the gods' decision to destroy mankind in a flood - the passage describing why the gods have decided this is lost. Enki instructs Ziusudra to build a large boat - the text describing the instructions is also lost. After a flood of seven days, Ziusudra makes appropriate sacrifices and prostrations to An (sky-god) and Enlil (chief of the gods), and is given eternal life in Dilmun (the Sumerian Eden) by Anu and Enlil. The 'Epic of Gilgamesh', from Babylonian mythology, which is the same as Noah but with different names, is dated 3000BCE. Judaism is not as old as many pagan religions. By my reckoning, you are about 3000 years out.

Last edited by pladecalvo; 05-07-2007 at 06:53 AM.. Reason: More info
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:19 AM
 
646 posts, read 1,096,972 times
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My apologies. When I went to look up the post that I was thinking of, it was one of ILoveNorthCarolina's, and not yours.

I retract my statement that you are afraid to debate.

Back to the OP. It is obvious that pladecalvo is not christian, and sees many problems with christianity. That holds true for me as well.

So what? Again, this is a religion board, not a christian theology board. If christianity has logical, ethical and historical problems, I do not think that is is wrong to talk about them.

Do you not do similar things with other religions? From your point of view, are other religions not wrong, because they are not bibilical? Are you not permitted to point this out?
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Just a few miles outside of St. Louis
1,921 posts, read 3,823,885 times
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I actually have found Mithraism to be interesting, historically speaking. I haven't done enough research on it, to be convinced that it came before Christianity, but then, it doesn't make alot of difference to me, because my idea of Christianity differs a good bit, from other folks. The biggest difference being that I don't believe in hell, but that's for another time...
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:19 AM
 
7,768 posts, read 9,459,505 times
Reputation: 3389
Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticLady1 View Post
I actually have found Mithraism to be interesting, historically speaking. I haven't done enough research on it, to be convinced that it came before Christianity, but then, it doesn't make alot of difference to me, because my idea of Christianity differs a good bit, from other folks. The biggest difference being that I don't believe in hell, but that's for another time...
Celtic, good post.

Mithraism, Judaism, etc ALL came before Christianity since Christianity wasn't 'born' until Christ and His earthly ministry. The problem is we have no way of knowing who stole from who(m??).

Anyway, the Old Testament gives us an account of ALL mankind from Adam and Eve. Now whether one accepts that or not is irrelavant sine the OP was 'How do Christians deal with the similarites". These pagan societies were offshoots and people that had rebelled against the God of Creation. So it's no wonder there are similarities...regardless of when things went from being passed down orally and when they were recorded.
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